Australia must lift game to be competitive

Australia must lift game to be competitive

Australia’s strong trade performance and pandemic recovery has elevated the nation’s international competitiveness by three spots to 19th in a global survey of 63 countries.

This came after Australia fell to its lowest ranking in 25 years in 2021, the Institute for Management Development World Competitiveness Yearbook showed on Tuesday.

However, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia think tank has warned Australia’s future competitiveness is not assured without lifting its game in a number of areas.

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This includes technology, energy, skills and training, entrepreneurship, tax and productivity.

Australia’s worst ranking was in the entrepreneurship category, standing at 61 out of the 63 countries, while workplace productivity tumbled from 20 to 41.

CEDA CEO Melinda Cilento said the report suggests even though Australia’s rising terms of trade driven by strong commodities prevented the overall ranking from slipping, its export concentration remains an area of vulnerability.

“Australia must lift its game on trade – diversifying its trading partners and continuing to build new markets for the goods and services in which we compete,” she said.

The top five countries in the overall rankings of the Switzerland-based IMD survey were led by Denmark, Switzerland, Singapore, Sweden and Hong Kong.

Ranked at 19, Australia was behind Iceland in 16th place, China in 17th and Qatar in 18th.

“On the face of it, Australia’s short-term outlook is good,” Ms Cilento said.

“But the IMD highlights that the critical pillars of competitiveness in a turbulent global environment are the institutional framework, infrastructure, and education – areas where Australia must now make very deliberate policy choices to underwrite future success.”

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